Natural Authenticity

In his Principles of Mathematics, Isaac Newton demonstrated that comets move throughout the universe along a conic orbit called a parabola. Parabolas occur naturally. They are elegant, symmetric, and represent energy. When I created the Turlough, Nolan Publishing imprint, I chose the image of the parabola as its emblem.

I hope that readers of the Star O’Brien books find a natural authenticity in her character. And, I hope that readers of my women’s leadership book find answers for their own quest in life.

Doing Business As: Turlough, Nolan Publishing

It’s done! I can sell my books on several ebook platforms.

On this journey as an indie author, I’m learning muchabout the business side of self-publishing. One important aspect is the author’spublisher. Most of the platforms prefer/require an author to have a doingbusiness as name which isn’t the author’sname. Luckily for me, I established my own publishing imprint several yearsago with my women’s leadership book, BringYour Spirit to Work: One Woman at a Time. However, now I’m living in adifferent state and I wondered if I needed to do anything more. Yes! I neededto register Turlough, Nolan Publishing with my state government and run a legalnotice in one of my county’s local newspapers.

Finding out about what to do in my state, led me to ameeting with a representative from the local Small Business Development Center.His questions, of course, had to do with my business plan for marketing andselling my books. I admit I have a writing and publication timeline and anexpense estimate (indie authorship requires resources including money). But I haven’tofficially written a business plan. So I’m working on it.

More to come in my next posts about what’s behind thename of my publishing imprint and its emblem (colophon).

Don’t Hit the Submit Button

This blog post is meant to be a peek behind the curtain of the writing, editing, and publishing aspects of being an indie writer and author.

This is my first experience on this journey to write, edit, publish, distribute, and market my Star O’Brien mystery series. Currently, I’m in the publishing phase for the first book, Death on Clare Island. And, I’m about 20,000 words from completing the writing phase for the second book.

By far, getting to and through the publish phase has taken determination and persistence. I’ve already described the Bowker ISBN issue in an earlier blog post. The latest snag began when I uploaded the manuscript to Amazon’s KDP for preview and a printed poof copy.

Then, the proof copy arrived in the mail.

First, the ISBN I purchased wasn’t on the back cover. “Why not?” I asked. No one, including the individual whose publishing services I’d paid for, knew the answer. So…I contacted Amazon who informed me that when Amazon prints the proof copy, they create a temporary barcode and number that indicates the book is a proof copy. They assured me that when I finally hit the submit button, the ISBN number I provided will be on the back cover.

There was much about the formatting that I didn’t think a reader would like. Such as the line spacing, justification, chapter headers, and scene breaks. The cover design was so much darker in print than it was when viewed online.

So, I didn’t hit the submit button. Instead, I reassessed where I was with the individual whom I’d hired to bring this book project to completion. Then, I reached out to my virtual assistant who recommended the eBook Formatting Fairies at Within two days, I received the mobi and epub files to review. The Vellum format looks beautiful and inviting to the reader’s eye. Next, the fairies are working on formatting the print on demand version. And, the cover design is in the hands of a freelance graphic designer for revision.

Bottom line. I’ve learned that I don’t want to put all my work into the hands of one individual who says he/she can do it all (edit, format for print and ebook, cover design). I also know that for my next book, whomever I work with for editing, there will be a set of deliverables with payments tied to due dates.

I wrote earlier in this post that it takes determination and persistence to be a published indie author. Moreover, it takes patience. Don’t be in a hurry to hit the submit button until you are totally satisfied that your work product will be pleasing to your readers.

Look for an update to the launch of Death on Clare Island sometime in mid-January.

Setbacks Happen

My Death on Clare Island mystery novel did not launch on Monday. I guess it’s all about clear communication. That’s why we write, isn’t it? To share and communicate an idea, a feeling, a viewpoint.

The reason I didn’t launch yet has to do with the purchase of a block of ISBNs from Bowker. Unfortunately, Bowker had a data breach of their shopping cart portal. They are dealing with the issue, but in the meanwhile purchases must be requested via a form. The form, when it reaches Bowker, is processed manually. So…for three weeks, I’ve been checking and calling Bowker about why I hadn’t received my purchase. Finally, yesterday, I discovered that I had made a request that did not have an official checkbox for that purchase on the form. Therefore, it wasn’t processed. I resent a newly completed form this morning.

This experience underlines how difficult it can be to communicate what we really mean. It was only when someone in customer service reviewed the application the second time, I sent it that we discovered my error. Thank goodness for the customer service rep. And person to person communication.

I also learned that it is best to buy a block of ISBNs so an author has some sitting on the shelf, ready for use when needed.

Setbacks happen but when seen in the rear-view mirror, it will seem like a minor detail. I’m disappointed but the book will launch. As soon as I have the ISBN and a better idea of the launch date, I will let you know.

In the meanwhile, I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.